Children’s Books Featuring Professor Wangari Maathai
Eco-literacy books are on the rise for young readers, and it’s no wonder. With youth leaders like Greta Thunberg at the forefront of the climate change conversation, youths are becoming an increasingly outspoken and respected voice in the environmental moment. Riding this wave of awareness and eco-consciousness, publishers are seeing a rise in environmental children’s books.
Below are several books highlighting the life of Professor Wangari Maathai, providing children with a model of commitment, leadership, and diversity.
As we adapt to living and learning at home, we hope these children’s books will provide an educational escape for young readers. And, with beautiful illustrations and inspirational topics, we think that adults just might enjoy them, too.
Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Wangari first learned to respect nature from her mother and would take these lessons with her throughout her life. Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World follows Wangari’s journey to promote the rights of her people and the environment. Appropriate for ages five to eleven, the book also features an accompanying reading guide.
Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
Starting with a single seed in her backyard, Wangari’s vision grew and grew—nine seedlings would become millions of trees. Wangari’s Trees of Peace pairs a succinct writing style with full page illustrations. The book is also printed on recycled content.
Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola
Planting the Trees of Kenya is one of many wonderful books written about Nobel Prize recipient Wangari Maathai (Kenya, 1991). The book follows Wangari from her childhood in Kenya to her return after college. Keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.
She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton
Women around the world have long dreamed big, even when they’ve been told their dreams didn’t matter. They’ve spoken out, risen up and fought for what’s right, even when they’ve been told to be quiet. Whether in science, the arts, sports or activism, women and girls throughout history have been determined to break barriers and change the status quo.
She Persisted Around the World is a book for everyone who has ever aimed high and been told to step down, for everyone who has ever raised their voice and been told to quiet down, and for everyone who has ever felt small, unimportant or unworthy.